Friday, July 3, 2015

Greece's course in Europe and within the eurozone is a "national one-way road" and not just for economic reasons but for reasons of national security, President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos said yesterday, receiving the head of the Hellenic Bank Association Louka Katseli. He added that the course toward the referendum on Sunday (5.07) must not be permitted to disrupt the essential unity of the Greek people. "Referendums, which are an institution of direct democracy, serve democracy only when they are conducted under conditions that do not allow any division," he said.

Katseli assured the President that banks will do their utmost to respond to the needs of their customers, within the limitations of the capital controls imposed, including pensioners as well as companies trying to make payments.

Pavlopoulos postponed a scheduled visit to Germany on July 7 due to developments in Greece following the closure of banks and ahead of the referendum. Pavlopoulos reassured his German counterpart Joachim Gauck that he was doing everything in his power to safeguard Greece’s position within the eurozone and the European Union.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has published a preliminary draft debt sustainability analysis (DSA) of the Greek public debt, which is found to be unsustainable. According to the report, the debt is estimated to be 149.9% of the GDP in 2020, far higher than the 124% prediction the Eurogroup made in 2012, so it concludes that the “doubling of grace and maturities on existing debt but also a significant haircut of debt” may be required.

The IMF further estimates that Greece will need over €50 billion to cover its funding needs for the next three years, meaning that a third bailout may be necessary. The spokesman for the Greek government Gabriel Sakellaridis    commented yesterday (2.07) that the report fully vindicates the government. "With today’s report, the IMF fully vindicates the Greek government, both in terms of the sustainability of Greek debt, as on its insistence that any new deal with our lenders must necessarily include a restructuring of our debt," Sakellaridis said.

While written sources on the history of Greece have been studied extensively, no systematic attempt has been made to examine photography as an important cultural and material process. This is surprising, given that Modern Greece and photography are practically peers: both are cultural products of the 1830s, and both actively converse with modernity.

A new publication fills this void: Camera Graeca: Photographs, Narratives, Materialities, edited by Philip Carabott and Eleni Papargyriou, both at King's College London, UK and Yannis Hamilakis, University of Southampton, UK. The book is divided into four, tightly integrated parts: 'Imag(in)ing Greece', 'Photographic narratives, alternative histories', 'Photographic matter-realities', and 'Photographic ethnographies'.

According to archaeologists, the first Greek song ever [VIDEO] was composed sometime between 200 BC- 100 AD by the poet Sikilos from Minor Asia, or modern Turkey. The decoding of the song was possible because Sikilos had used a marble column to engrave not only the lyrics but the musical notation as well. That marble column, known as the Sikilos epitaph, is unique in the sense that it is a complete, though short, composition.

Over time, ownership of the marble column has changed, sometimes illicitly. It was first discovered in 1883 by Scottish archaeologist Sir W. M. Ramsay in modern Aydin (ancient city of Tralles), but when the Greco-Turkish War broke out (1919-1922), the epitaph vanished.

Many years later, it was found in the garden of a Turkish home; the owner had cut off the base of the column to use it as a vase. Eventually, it was moved to The Hague, until 1966, when it was acquired by the National Museum of Denmark. Interestingly enough, at the bottom of the column there is an inscription saying that Sikilos dedicates the song to Euterpe, however it is not known whether she was a real person or the Muse of Music!